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MVSD presenting the only rural perspective at CMEC workshop

  • In News
  • March 3, 2020
  • By

Mountain View School Division (MVSD) has the honour of being the only rural presenter from Manitoba, at the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) workshop on Pan-Canadian Indigenous data, Mar. 31.
CEO Dan Ward explained he is preparing a presentation on how MVSD uses data to effectively plan for student learning.
“What CMEC is most interested in for this workshop is how we desegregate, or separate out the data for indigenous and non-indigenous students, to recognize if there is a gap in academic achievement between indigenous and non-indigenous students,” he said.
Ward confirmed there is a gap, noting the division is working on strategies to narrow it and has had some success in certain areas, while working to improve others.
Ward anticipates he will discuss graduation rates for MVSD, as there has been an improvement over the last 10 years.
“Our graduation rates for students that are in high school for a period of between four and six years for indigenous students has improved fairly remarkably at about 10 per cent. We still have a ways to go, but I believe all of our high schools and their emphasis on focussing on school participation rather than just the goal being to graduate in four years, has played a part in that,” he said.
“You know, there’s research to suggest that the number of years that a student is in school is an excellent predictor for overall success in life economically and with post-secondary. So if it takes a student an extra six months or a year to graduate, we see that not as a negative thing.”
Ward considers the longer stay in high school as one of the reasons graduation rates have improved for indigenous students.
Pleased to be nominated, he noted, MVSD is one of four divisions in the province presenting, along with Winnipeg School Division, Pembina Trail School Division and Brandon School Division.
“So we’re really the only rural school division from Manitoba that has been asked to present in Ottawa on March 31,” Ward said, adding the province is covering airfare, ground transportation and incidental costs.
Being asked to participate in national workshops is important, he noted, as it provides MVSD a chance to share its data and challenges, as well as learn from other divisions and districts across Canada.
“Some who have very different challenges, but some that have similar challenges and some of the strategies that they’re implementing and have had success with,” Ward said.
“And I’m sure there are school divisions that are likely further ahead of us in this area and I’m looking forward to learning from them.”